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Yusuf blames this lack of Islamic knowledge among Christians to the fact that there is a dearth of credible spokespersons who could defend Islam from its attackers. As a matter of fact, Yusuf stressed that “Islam is the middle way between excess and neglect” and that terrorism is the preoccupation of zealots and extremists who are, in fact, a plaque of Islam. According to him, there are two types of Muslim extremists whose acts destroy Islam. The first he calls “reactionary extremists. ” This group rejects any form of religious pluralism. According to these reactionary extremists, the world consists of good and evil with nothing in between.

Good, according to them, means the reactionary extremists and all those who oppose their actions are evil. Yusuf further explains that these kind of extremists are in the habit of “excommunicating” other Muslims who reject the way they interpret the Qur’an. However, this kind does not usually resort to violent acts to achieve their goals. Instead, they employ character assassination or takfir to ward their critics (Yusuf, n. d. ). The second type is the “radical extremist. ” These Muslims extremists, according to Yusuf, are the ones who resort to violent acts and tactics to further their objectives.

Impact of Muhammad’s life on Islam TOPICS SPECIFICALLY FOR YOU

Yusuf stressed that these Muslims act as if they belong to some secret, wicked society whose members believe in the dictum that “the end justifies the means. ” In other words, any method, even the most violent method, is acceptable as long as their “cause” is advanced. According to Yusuf, this is destroying Islam because the methods employed by Islam should be reflecting the noble ends of the religion. Secondly, Islam is not a “secret society of conspirators” – rather, it is open with its objectives and traditions which have already been accepted and recognized by people from other religious denominations (Yusuf, n. d. ).

Muslims confused with Arabs Muslims object to their being confused with Arabs because it would never be accurate to equate Islam, a religious denomination, with Arab, which is an ethnic grouping. According to Muslims, the reason for this erroneous identification could be the fact that Islam emerged from the culture and society of Arab Bedouins of the 8th century. Another reason might be the fact that the Qur’an was written in Arabic. However, beyond these facts, Muslims should not be identified as Arabs, and vice versa because, according to statistics, “there are many non-Muslim Arabs, and far, far more non-Arab Muslims in the world.

In fact, out of the estimated one billion Muslims worldwide, only about 200 million are Arabs (DHinMl, 2006). Looking at the table below of the top ten countries with the highest Muslim population, only Egypt (at number seven) is an Arab country (Aneki. com, n. d. ). Rank Country Muslim Population 1 Indonesia 182,570,000 2 Pakistan 134,480,000 3 India 121,000,000 4 Bangladesh 114,080,000 5 Turkey 65,510,000 6 Iran 62,430,000 7 Egypt 58,630,000 8 Nigeria 53,000,000 9 Algeria 30,530,000 10 Morocco 28,780,000

Source: CIA World Factbook References Aneki. com. (n. d. ). Largest Muslim Population in the World. Retrieved November 26, 2007 from http://www.religioustolerance.org/islam.htm

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